Who Is John Kless? 5 New Details About The Man Arrested For Threatening 4 Members Of Congress

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Who Is John Kless? 5 New Details About The Man Arrested For Threatening 4 Members Of Congress
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A 49-year-old man was charged with making threatening communications on Friday, April 19th. He allegedly called and left voicemails for three members of Congress: John Kless threatened U.S. Representatives Rashida Tlaib and Eric Swalwell as well as Senator Cory Booker. He also allegedly threatened Representative Ilhan Omar in his calls. Kless allegedly called the three elected officials on Tuesday, Apr. 16th. The first call was to Swalwell, in which Kless said, "the day you come after our guns motherf***er is the day you'll be dead." He also called Swalwell the “n-word,” according to the complaint, although Swalwell is white. Next he called Tlaib, and allegedly used racial slurs and sexually offensive language. He said to Tlaib in the voicemail she should "tell her Taliban friend to shut up," referring to Omar. Finally, he called Booker, allegedly saying, "we're going to have a war in this country motherf***ers" and "you're going to be the motherf***ers who pay." He also allegedly called the New Jersey senator the “n-word” and a “monkey” multiple times.

Swalwell took to social media to thank law enforcement following Kless’s arrest. “Thank you to the @CapitolPolice and Florida law enforcement for protecting my staff and constituents,” he tweeted on Friday.

Both Booker and Swalwell are vying to have their name on the Democratic ticket for the 2020 election. Tlaib and Omar are prominent Democratic freshmen in Congress. They are both Muslim women. Tlaib notably said shortly after she was sworn in as a representative, “we're going to impeach the motherf***er," referring to the President.

Kless is one of many people that have threatened violence against Democrats in the past year. But who is John Kless? Below are five details about the man and his politics.

1. He is from Florida

Kless is a resident of Tamarac in Broward County, Florida. Tamarac is in south Florida, northwest of Fort Lauderdale. It sits on the eastern border of the Everglades. The Miami New Times noted another man from southern Florida, Cesar Sayoc, mailed improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to CNN, major Democratic donors and Democratic officials, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Senator Cory Booker and Senator Kamala Harris. Sayoc will be sentenced on September 12th; he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Representative Eric Swalwell with his wife and two children.

2. He has harassed Nancy Pelosi in the past

Kless phoned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in February of this year, according to US Capitol police. He made two harrassing phone calls to her office. Officials said the calls were about the president, as well as “...Congress taking away his guns, abortion, illegal immigration and Muslims in Congress.”

 

"Justice too long delayed is justice denied." —Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

A post shared by Cory Booker (@corybooker) on Apr 14, 2019 at 8:53am PDT

RELATED: Who Is Rashida Tlaib? New Details About The First Muslim Woman In Congress

3. Kless is an independent

Despite his apparent partisan views, Kless is not partial to one party over another. Voting records show that he’s registered to vote as an Indepedent. Kless defended President Trump in two of his three voicemails; he told lawmakers to stop criticizing the president.

4. He was held on a $25,000 bond

He was arrested on Friday and appeared in federal court. He was given the bond, and fitted with an ankle monitor. Another man, Patrick Carlieno, was arrested earlier this month for threatening to kill Omar. He called her office on March 21st and said to a staffer, "Do you work for the Muslim Brotherhood? Why are you working for her, she's a (expletive) terrorist. I'll put a bullet in her (expletive) skull." Carlieno, 55, faces up to 10 years in prison if he is convicted.

 

Had a great chat with @colbertlateshow - Tune in tonight on @cbstv!

A post shared by Ilhan Omar (@ilhanmn) on Apr 10, 2019 at 4:17pm PDT

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Ilhan Omar with Stephen Colbert.

RELATED: Who Is Ilhan Omar? New Details On The First Somali-American Elected To Congress

5. Rep Ilhan Omar said she has received an increased number of death threats in the past week

Kless is not the only one threatening Omar. The Minnesota representative has had a surge of threats against her through social media after President Trump retweeted a video about 9/11 on the night of April 12th. The video opened with a clip of Omar saying “some people did something” on September 11th. The partial quote, which was featured on the front page of the New York Post, is part of a much longer quote from a speech Omar gave at a Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) banquet in March.

"Far too long we have lived with the discomfort of being a second-class citizen, and frankly, I'm tired of it, and every single Muslim in this country should be tired of it. CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties."


Alison Cerri is a writer who covers astrology, pop culture and relationship topics.